RCR introduces policy opposing declawing

Regina Cat Rescue (RCR) has introduced a new policy defining its position on the declawing of cats. As an animal rescue organization that sees firsthand the negative short-term and long-term effects of declawing and works to prevent unnecessary pain inflicted on cats, RCR affirms its opposition to the practice of declawing cats.

Declawing is an amputation, isn't medically necessary and causes unnecessary and avoidable pain. The procedure can also lead to behavioural issues such as litter box avoidance and biting. Scratching is a normal feline behaviour that cats use to mark territory. Claws help cats balance, climb and defend themselves. 

To this end, RCR will no longer adopt cats to applicants who intend to declaw. RCR recommends the following actions in lieu of declawing:

  • Cat guardians should provide suitable objects for scratching, including scratching posts and pads, cardboard boxes, carpet or fabric remnants, logs, etc., and should encourage cats to use these objects by providing catnip, treats and praise. 
  • Cat guardians should consider temporary synthetic nail caps. 

  • Cat guardians should trim their cat’s claws regularly. 

  • Cat guardians should consider deterrents such as double-sided tape and motion-activated compressed air to protect furniture, and offer alternatives like a scratching pad or post near their furniture for cats to redirect their scratching.

In the past, RCR left the decision to adopt a cat to an applicant planning to declaw up to that cat's foster care provider, and the vast majority of RCR's foster care providers elected not to adopt their foster cats to applicants planning to declaw. This new policy formalizes and strengthens RCR's position on the practice. 

RCR joins other organizations, including the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association in taking a stand against the practice of declawing cats. The surgery is also prohibited or significantly restricted in multiple countries, including Australia, Brazil, Israel, Finland, Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom, among others.

To learn more about declawing, please check out the following resources:

Adoption fees increase effective May 1

For only $140, you get at least $340 worth of investments into your cat!

For only $140, you get at least $340 worth of investments into your cat!

This past year was a record-breaking year for Regina Cat Rescue, in every sense. We broke our own records for the number of rescues we took in and the number of cats we adopted out.

Sadly, as a strictly volunteer-run organization funded solely through fundraising, this type of effort isn’t sustainable.

The amount of work it takes to rescue 473 cats is enormous, and we’re grateful to everyone who had a hand in moving these sweet kitties from the streets and into their forever homes. Unfortunately, the toll this takes on our volunteers and funds is huge – and we need to take steps to ensure we don’t deplete either of these valuable resources. We also care for hundreds of community cats daily whose costs of care are never recouped through fees.

Currently, RCR spends an average of $340 on each adoptable cat, which includes the costs for sterilization, vaccinations, deworming and earmite treatments. On top of this are the costs for treating cats with additional health issues and litter/food for the duration of their stay in foster care.

Effective May 1, RCR is increasing the adoption fee to $140 per cat and $200 for a bonded pair.

 *Illness and behaviour issues to be identified and documented by Pet Rescue Chair.

 *Illness and behaviour issues to be identified and documented by Pet Rescue Chair.

To further help support volunteers, RCR has instituted a cap of 400 rescues for 2017. The organization has a small core group of volunteers to manage the day-to-day operations. It takes a lot of time, effort and skill to operate an animal rescue, and volunteer burnout is always a risk. RCR encourages its volunteers to balance RCR activities with family, friends, work and other interests.

If you have any questions about the new fees, feel free to contact us at reginacatrescue@gmail.com.


Frozen Feline Finds A Family

Rocket enjoying lap time with his dad.

Rocket enjoying lap time with his dad.

Shortly before Christmas, Regina Cat Rescue (RCR) was contacted by a couple who had discovered a stray cat hanging around in their backyard. The cat was very skittish and panicked when they tried to coax him in, and they were worried about his chances of survival in the extreme cold. 

With the assistance of an RCR volunteer and help from mother nature in the form of a brief warm spell, the cat, named Rocket, was trapped and taken to the vet for neutering. He turned out to be a healthy young cat who was in good shape aside from a bit of frostbite on his ears. He also showed signs of being tame, but with no foster homes available, he was released back to the yard and RCR provided the couple with a shelter box to help keep him warm. However,  Rocket had other ideas.

Several weeks later, during another cold spell, they noticed him staring at them through the glass doors. He didn't appear to be using the shelter box, and reappeared at their door nightly. Finally, on a cold night with temperatures dipping into the -40s, they saw Rocket looking at them through the door with his face all frosted up. Worried that he wouldn't last another night in the cold, they slowly and gently lured him inside with a plate of food attached to a string. 

At first, Rocket was very shy and hid under the bed in the spare room for weeks. But the couple persisted, talking gently and throwing him treats. Each time they fed him under the bed, they moved the food closer and closer. Eventually, they started playing with him with a shoelace and in no time, they would hear Rocket playing with his toys and having a blast when no one was in the room. He was still scared and hid under the bed when they were there, but they began hand-feeding him treats while he was distracted by a toy and soon they were able to pet him. Within a few days of contact, Rocket decided that he liked pets and wanted more. He began seeking attention from his caregivers and cuddling in their laps. This was the breakthrough they had been waiting for. 

The final step was introducing Rocket to their other two cats, which they did gradually, even installing a screen door on the spare room so the cats could see and smell each other without direct contact. Then they brought Rocket out to meet his new brothers one at a time, with the other cats on a harness and lead, just in case. The introductions went well, and after several months, they are now a happy family! 

This happy ending for Rocket was possible because his rescuers stepped up and took action to help a cat in need. RCR provided guidance and helped with the vet care, but his rescuers are the ones who opened their door to a stray, skittish cat and made him part of the family. RCR is grateful for community members who take a chance on helping stray cat and work with timid cats to help them feel at home.

Cheers to Rocket and his family! 

-Alanna, Regina Cat Rescue

Rocket awaits his supper with his siblings

Rocket awaits his supper with his siblings

Rocket loves to be loved!

Rocket loves to be loved!